STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Energy Resources Conservation
and Development Commission
In the Matter of: ) Docket No. 99-AFC-3 ) Application for Certification for the ) COMMITTEE RULING re: DEMAND TO CORRECT Metcalf Energy Center [Calpine ) OR CURE VIOLATIONS OF THE BAGLEY-KEENE Corporation and Bechtel Enterprises, Inc.] ) OPEN MEETING ACT ___________________________________________)
On January 3, 2000, Intervenor Californians for Renewable Energy (CRE) filed a "Demand to Correct or Cure Violations of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act." We treat this herein as a formal Motion.
CRE contests the procedures employed at the December 16, 1999 Status Conference and seeks a "public vote"(Motion, p. 3) on its December 1, 1999 "Motion to Disapprove Application for Certification" (Motion to Disapprove).
We have already issued a Ruling on CRE's Motion to Disapprove (January 13, 2000) and therefore the substance of the current Motion is moot. Nevertheless, we will briefly address some of the Intervenor's underlying contentions to clarify what may be expected at future conferences and hearings.
First, the items to be discussed at the December 16, 1999 Status Conference were clearly specified in two notices, dated November 1 and November 22, 1999. These items constituted the "agenda" for the Status Conference within the meaning of the Open Meeting Act and Commission regulations. [Gov. Code, section 11120, et seq.; 20 Cal. Code of Regs., section 1710.] These notices were mailed well in advance of the minimum ten day requirement and the purposes of the Status Conference were clearly reiterated at that event. (12/16/99 RT 2-3, 10-14.)1
Next, we are not required to conduct a public hearing or receive public comment on any Motion filed. The operative section of our regulations (20 Cal. Code of Regs., section 1716.5) provides only that we "may" set a hearing to consider arguments on a Motion. Nevertheless, and contrary to the assertions of CRE, the Committee provided all parties an opportunity to address the Motion to Disapprove.2 (12/16/99 RT 11-15, 25-37.)
Finally, our regulations provide us broad authority to "regulate the conduct of the proceedings and hearings." [20 Cal. Code of Regs., section section 1203(c), 1204(a); see also, Gov. Code, section 11126.5.] The Open Meeting Act requires only that members of the public be afforded an opportunity to address a state body on "each agenda item". [Gov. Code, section 11125.7(a).] CRE is simply mistaken in its assertion that we are necessarily compelled to allow comments "on any matter within the Committee's jurisdiction." (Motion, p. 3.) The limited time available and the large audience at the December 16, 1999 Conference clearly necessitated limiting the scope of comments to the items specified in the notices.
For the reasons discussed above, we deny Intervenor's "Demand to Correct or Cure Violations of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act."
Date On Line: February 2, 2000
ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
ROBERT A. LAURIE, Commissioner
Metcalf AFC Committee
WILLIAM J. KEESE, Chairman
Metcalf AFC Committee
Footnote 1: "RT" refers to the reporter's transcript for the date and page(s) indicated.
Footnote 2: The following pertinent exchange occurred at the Status Conference:
Mr. Boyd: Can the public speak on the motion [to disapprove]? (12/16/99 RT 134: 24-25.)
Hearing Officer Valkosky: Yes, the public may indicate support or nonsupport on any of the motions we discussed earlier, Mr. Boyd. (1216//99 RT 135: 1-4.)
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